Mass Beer Run

Wait, wasn’t I just saying that I’m out of space in the beer cellar? Not sure how this happened. I blame Elise.

We haven’t been out to Night Shift in a while, and it’s been even longer since I’ve been to Tree House. Since we had some bottles graciously waiting for us at Night Shift that Elise couldn’t wait to get her hands on, and after seeing Heather Vandenengel’s article on DigBoston (with a shout out to yours truly in there) I wanted to make a stop and finally check out Tree House’s new brew house, so we skipped out of work early yesterday and hit the pavement to head to Mass. Continue reading

Bottle Share with Night Shift Brewing

Too fun not to share this one. Got this tweet last week from the crew at Night Shift Brewing:

Night Shift is in Everett, MA and doesn’t distribute much outside of the Boston area, so for my house in Loudonville, NY to be the #2 venue only behind the brewery itself is a pretty awesome. Elise has been saving a few bottles in the beer cellar and I had recently picked up a bottle of Taza Stout for myself, so when our friend Anthony was coming in from Boston I asked him to snag one of their latest beers, Citranation, and their blueberry berliner I missed out on. Thankfully he obliged and we had a pretty nice lineup of Night Shift beers for tasting, along with some other randoms from Pig Destroyer Jon and Jeff2, mostly because we’re Untappd badge whores. Check it out:
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Barrel Aged Beers at Night Shift Brewing

After my trip to Plan B, I ended up heading back to MA early the next morning to go to Night Shift Brewing. Between Plan B, Night Shift, Tree House, and beer shopping at Spirited in Lenox, I feel like I have cheating on Vermont! Anyway, Elise specifically had her eyes on the new Fallen Apple, a new Golden ale of theirs brewed with fresh MA apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and allspice; aged in rum and brandy barrels. As much as I love Spirited for my MA beer hookup, Night Shift doesn’t make it that far West. It was worth making the trip for that beer alone. Sounds pretty delicious, right?

Night Shift Fallen Apple on Rum Barrels

Night Shift Fallen Apple on Rum Barrels

The first thing I noticed was just how much Night Shift had grown since the last time I was there just a couple months earlier, while I was in town for the Night of the Funk. The souring room is completely different and there’s a lot more storage outside the garage door, plus a few other changes.

Souring Room at Night Shift Brewing

Being Elise’s first time there, after touring the changes we did a full tasting of everything they had on tap, and just my luck they also had a growler of both Wild King and Wild Queen for us to try. I didn’t really expect that they’d have any of the Oncemade boxes left, but they did and after tasting both beers Elise convinced me to grab one, along with the Fallen Apple and a couple of growlers to go.

It’s good to see a brewery expand at such a rate. Between this and their aggressive barrel aging program I see some pretty good things happening for Night Shift down the road. They have also taken on a few new employees so this gives some credence to their Barrel Society I mentioned here. These guys are going to stick around for a while.

Speaking of the Barrel Society, the trip out there gave me a chance to do a little recon on what barrels these guys have in the works (I hope the guys don’t mind me posting this!):

  • Brett Golden + Rye on Red Wine Barrels
  • Wheat Wine on Brandy Barrels
  • Taza Stout on Rum/Bourbon Barrels
  • Jim Beam Barrels
  • Turkey Shore Distilleries (Rum Barrel, I believe)

A pretty solid lineup and a taste of what’s to come. Hopefully some of these barrels are going to be used for Barrel Society beers over the next year, I’m Elise is very much looking forward to it!

Barrels at Night Shift Brewing

Night Shift Brewing Announces 2013 Barrel Society

— Yesterday Night Shift announced on their homepage a new Barrel Society that they’re marketing as a beer CSA. You pay the money upfront and you reap the rewards of Barrel Society member-only barrel aged brews, swag, and an end of the year party. Sound familiar? It should. Check out what’s included:

  • One 2013 Night Shift Barrel Society Membership Card
  • Seven barrel-aged beers (two bottles of each = fourteen bottles), exclusive to members
  • Priority to purchase additional bottles of each beer, if the barrels prove more fruitful than expected
  • Two drinking glasses exclusive to the Night Shift Barrel Society
  • One T-shirt exclusive to the Night Shift Barrel Society
  • First rights to renew your membership for 2014
  • Two tickets to an end-of-the-year Night Shift Barrel Society Party

On the beer front, they’re expecting:

  • 2 sours (Flanders Red/Golden Brett/fruit-aged)
  • 2 imperials (Tripel/Barleywine/Coffee Stout – to be decided)
  • 1 barrel-aged IPA
  • 1 beer 100% brett-fermented (wild yeast strain)
  • And the 7th beer will be decided by you!

Elise and I have been a big fan of Night Shift ever since I visited their brewery back in September. (She’s very much looking forward to getting her hands on some Fallen Apple.) They’re still a small brewery now, but if they take off the way The Bruery has with their Reserve Society, it may be wise to to get in on the ground floor now. In addition to the beers, they plan on using the money for:

  • 3-4 new stainless steel fermenting tanks (to double our capacity!)
  • Many more barrels of all types for our beers
  • Forklift for moving beer, barrels, large groups of people…
  • The Night Shift Delivery Van
  • More kegs for more draft beer!

Let’s do the math here. It works out to about $18 a beer not including all the frills. Now, I’m no stranger to spending $20-30 bucks a bottle on beers (hello Golden Blend?) but Night Shift is a fairly new, not as well established brewery compared to the breweries commanding those prices for beers. And there are only about 40 reviews for their beers on BeerAdvocate, total. I have, however, really enjoyed the stuff I’ve had from them in the past. But it’s still a big investment for something so unknown. Just because you pour some beers into barrel does not mean it makes magic (as evidence from Mendocino’s BA beers and some of the BA beers from Adirondack Pub & Brewery).

On top of this, I’m not local which means at least a few trips out to Night Shift, including fuel, food, their regular beers at $10-12 a bottle I’m sure I’ll buy when I pickup my Barrel Society ones, plus stops at Deep EllumLord Hobo, and Craft Beer Cellar or wherever I end up venturing that day. The membership costs will definitely add up.

So what do you guys think? Is the 2013 Night Shift Barrel Society Membership worth it or is it just too much money to spend on beer?

Brew Tour at Night Shift Brewing

I’d be lying to you if I didn’t flat out say that Night Shift is located in a complete sketch ball back alley industrial section of town. Not the kind of place I’d suggest you hang out late night alone.

Luckily all of that is worth it once you see this sign, here:

I went there the day of the the Belgian Beer Fest which meant unfortunately, Idle Hands, which is literally right next door, was closed as they were all at the festival. (I did pick a bottle of theirs up at Craft Beer Cellar, though.)

No mind though, I had plenty to do and drink at Night Shift. This is hands down one of the best new breweries I’ve seen in a while. They’re NOT taking the easy route doing traditional, safe beers. Their motto is to brew beers they “can’t find in the store” and they’re doing exactly that. All of them were a style or a twist on a beer that I’ve never seen before and every single one of them was tasty as hell.

The first thing you notice, after the Night Shift “Hop Owl”, are the plentiful owls that are all around their store front. They say that all of them has been given to them by friends and fans. I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m around.

As I bellied up to the bar to try a little something of everything, I noticed something sitting on the counter: a wood Oncemade Beer box.

Now, if you don’t remember the splash this thing made when it was first announced, there was a bunch of grumbling about Pintley putting this together, two relatively new, untested breweries “converging” (yes that was a Backlash pun) on this box set, and it commanding a pretty penny as well ($45 for the two bottle set). I have to say, after making the visit to Night Shit, chatting with Mike for a while, seeing their operation, and tasting all of their beers, any reservations that I had about the set are gone. They make some damn good beers and they know what they’re doing. Since you can only pick it up locally, I’ll have to coordinate with Craft Beer Cellar to see if they can hold my set (or two) until I can get back out that way to pick it up after it’s been released on the 15th. We’ll see.

After having a few samples I asked Mike if he could give me a tour of the place. It’s small, but there’s still plenty to look at. You can tell they’re still growing and it’s cool to see remnants of their smaller brew setups here and there, there’s even a whole room dedicated to their sours. There’s a lot going on here for a small, all hand made operation. This is the type of place that I’m sure super homebrewers go to and just drool over it since it’s really not that far out of reach from the process that they do on their weekend brews except on a bigger scale.

I was able to try several of their beers although not all of them were available in bottles to take home:

  • Somer Weisse
  • Trifecta
  • Bee Tea
  • Viva Habanera
  • Rose
  • Quad Reserve

After being there for about an hour and half, sipping on beers, bullshitting with Mike and a couple from Minnesota (who surprisingly did NOT have the kindest words to say about Darkness Day and Surly in general??) I decided it was time to make my way back home. I grabbed a bottle of everything they had and a new shirt for Elise. Check out the haul post here.


Night Shift Brewing (link) | 3 Charlton Street #9, Everett, MA (map) | All Night Shift Posts

Beer Haul from Night Shift and Craft Beer Cellar

Tried keeping it as local as possible but there were a couple of things at CBC that were on my wants list.

  • Backlash Beer Company – Convergence
  • Idle Hands Craft Ales – Triplication
  • Jack’s Abby Brewing – Hoponius Union
  • Night Shift Brewing – Somer Weisse
  • Night Shift Brewing – Viva Habanera
  • Night Shift Brewing – Trifecta
  • Somerville Brewing Company – Slumbrew Trekker Tripel

And a couple from out of state:

  • B. Nektar Meadery – Zombie Killer
  • Hoppin’ Frog Brewery – Barrel Aged Naked Evil

Full write up on both stops coming soon!